Old folk at lunch

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jason brings home the golden fleece

After Joe built my new Windows 10 computer recently, we had some leftover bits from my old Windows 7 computer that I wanted to re-use, an old hard drive and an A-drive. Joe bought an old secondhand computer for $80 for that purpose and set it up using Windows XP.  Alas, however, my leftover hard drive was so old (about 10 years) that it could not be used even with my old $80 computer. It is an IDE drive, now obsolete.

My old mate Jason had an idea, however.  He knew of an adapter that you can get from China for $20 that converts an IDE interface to a USB interface.  So he got me one. And today was the big day to install it.

It didn't work. But Jason is not accustomed to defeat by any computer.  He has been using personal computers since he was a kid -- starting out with the venerable VIC-20. The VIC-20 was the first computer of any description to sell one million units.  So his brain is full of all sorts of understanding of computers.

So he kept trying all sorts of strategies to get the new system to work.  After nearly two hours of hard work and at least a dozen tries he finally did it.

It turns out that an IDE drive uses slightly more power than more modern drives -- so the power supply that came with the USB adapter was inadequate.  Fortunately, however, my old $80 computer was a originally a quality one -- a Hewlett Packard.  So it had inside it a variety of power outlets to enable use of various peripheral devices.  And one of them had the extra power that my old IDE drive needed.

So once we discovered that it was all plain sailing and I now have up and running an old XP machine complete with two functioning hard drives and an A-drive -- a genuine museum piece.  I now have 3 different old computers up and running in my mini-museum.  The others are a DOS machine and an Amiga 500.  Men like their machines.


There really was a golden fleece

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